The Kick Off

Got the talent to build but really want to kick the project off in the right way? I can help you and your client get the most out of a project by getting it started correctly. I speak binary and business; let me do the translation work.

  • Define the challenge
  • Set the goals
  • Create the plan
  • Measure the outcomes

Define the Challenge

User stories capture

Are you able to succinctly define what you’re setting out to achieve? Is it technically possible and do your users agree? If you don’t have these these three boxes ticked from the beginning you’re destined for a rough ride.

The first step of the project is alway to ask as many people as possible as many questions as possible and curate them into something that anyone can understand. Depending on the scale of the project we will undertake a series of discovery sessions.

  • Stakeholders kick-off: This session takes the form of a loosely structured discussion that includes all key stakeholders of the project. It’s simply to ensure everyone knows what’s expected of the project and each other.
  • User stories capture: If you don not understand your users you are destined to fail. These sessions are an exciting way of getting to the bottom of what we really need to build. Getting a number of your key customers in a room and grabbing as many user stories as possible. But don’t worry if you do not have access to your customers, it sufficently as well with the people in your organisation that are close to them, and understand their needs.
  • Technical workshops: So, once we know the ‘what’ we need to decide on the ‘how’. This session includes all technical stakeholders in the project. The build team, any owners of systems that need to be integrated with, the operations team and any key technical partners of the organisation. The sessions takes the form of the presentation of a high level technical proposal for the project, followed by it’s critical dissection by the technical teams. This helps identify any possible technical challenges that we might come across in the project.

All of this can be done remotely or in person, I can come to you to facilitate, or how about a trip to Berlin? Beer and Bratwürst included!

Normal Deliverables:

  • Curated user stories board.
  • Initial project/product definition.
  • Initial technical solutions proposal.

Set the Goals

Once the initial discovery is complete and we have a good solid idea what we’re trying to achieve it’s important that we define what success looks like. This allows us to be flexible within the scope of the project delivery, as long as we’re focusing on the core deliverables.

We will work together to defined a strong set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with the project and organisations goals. These will be confirmed with all stakeholders to make sure that everyone is happy with what we’re aiming for.

During this part of the process it’s really valuable to surface any key documentation, such as marketing plans, company core KPIs, etc that might have an impact the project.

Normal Deliverables:

  • KPIs document.

Create the Plan

The Plan

Just like choosing the right technology it’s important to use the right methodology for any project. Depending on the size, complexity, and how much time and effort the stakeholders are able to invest during the build making the right choice between a more rigid waterfall type approach, or an agile deliver is important.

Depending on the methodology chose then we will either need to write detailed specifications for the project at this point to make sure that everyone is comfortable with what is being delivered, or we need to setup a great framework for an agile delivery.

If we haven’t have conversation about content then now is also the time to define the content strategy for the project.

Normal Deliverables:

  • Initial wireframes.
  • Flow diagrams.
  • Project timeline.
  • Detailed project/product definition.
  • Project specification (waterfall).
  • Organised stories board (agile).
  • Testing plan.
  • Content plan.

Measure the Outcomes

During and after the build we need to make sure we’re actually getting the results that we want. During the process you will receive regular detailed reports outlining exactly what’s going on, progress that being made, current challenges. All measured against the original KPIs

Normal Deliveries

  • Periodic reports (weekly or monthly depending on the length of the project)
  • Metrics board